How To Create A Remarkable Customer Experience (CX)
Customers today expect more than a competitive price and a great product. What they remember is how you made them feel — that’s the customer experience.
Customer experience can make or break a business. That’s because the experience you provide to customers ultimately decides how they feel about doing business with you.
Never mind that you offer a great product or service at an attractive price, when customer experience is wrong, nothing else will seem right.
Think of a time when you’ve had a great experience in a restaurant compared with a not so great one. Which restaurant would you go back to, or recommend to friends and family?
What is CX?
CX (Customer Experience) is the feeling that a customer walks away with after any interaction with your brand, product, or service. It covers every touchpoint that a person has with your business, from their initial awareness to making a purchase. A positive CX increases customer loyalty, advocacy, and repeat business, whereas a negative CX results in customer churn, negative reviews, and a damaged reputation.
Negative perceptions of your business drive people away to a competitor in search of a better experience. This means companies can no longer compete on price and product alone. CX is a way to differentiate your business from competitors. For that reason, many companies focus on improving their CX by mapping out existing processes and identifying and implementing ways to streamline and improve them.
“I like that CX is a viable system I can apply to help develop a strategy for increasing our effectiveness in inspiring, integrating, and retaining newcomers to our church. In particular, unchurched people. I found the CX mapping system incredibly insightful and intuitive in teasing out some of the blind spots.” — Pastor Noel, Chilliwack Alliance Church, Chilliwack
(after going through our CX Workshop at Khula)
CX has moved to the forefront of many businesses. Large enterprises even create roles for CX champions and CXOs (Customer Experience Officers). These advocates monitor and continuously improve customer engagement, customer journeys, and the customer experience online and offline.
Why is CX important?
CX drives differentiation. This is particularly important in competitive markets where it’s hard to stand out from competitors. Here are some of the main reasons why CX is important:
- Customer retention and loyalty: A positive CX increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and a higher customer lifetime value. In contrast, a negative CX can result in customer churn and lost revenue.
- Brand reputation: A remarkable CX enhances a brand's reputation, leading to positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Negative CX has the opposite effect – negative reviews and damage to a brand's reputation.
- Competitive advantage: Engineering a remarkable CX gives a company a competitive advantage, differentiating it in the marketplace.
- Customer insights: CX data and customer feedback help businesses understand their customer’s needs, preferences, and behaviours. This helps a company to improve its products and services, and align its marketing and sales efforts to meet customer needs.
- Cost savings: Providing a positive CX helps to reduce the costs associated with customer complaints, returns, and support, and increase operational efficiency. It can motivate employees and drive a higher return on investment for shareholders.
6 emotional drivers for CX excellence
The key to delivering CX excellence is to build emotional bonds between customers and your company, creating deeper relationships. Here are 6 emotional drivers to make that happen:
- Build trust: People want to do business with companies they can trust. It’s that simple. Becoming a trustworthy brand in the eyes of your customers makes you reliable. This creates loyalty.
- Speak to individuals: Whether you’re B2B, B2C or D2C, people do business with people. That’s why it’s important to treat customers as individuals — getting to know their needs and pain points as people.
- Make it easy: If it’s easy and effortless to do business with you, customers are more likely to buy from you, and give you repeat business.
- Walk in their shoes: Understanding and empathising with customers lets them know you understand their problems. You become a trusted guide that helps solve a key problem.
- Deliver on your promise: Whatever your promise to customers, make sure you deliver on it by managing, meeting, and exceeding their expectations — going above and beyond.
- Put things right: From time to time something will go wrong. The important thing is to put it right quickly, making the customer a priority.
Doing all of these things well creates a real bond with customers, and that’s what keeps them coming back. Customers do business with companies they trust, and to earn their trust you need to understand your customers, and walk in their shoes.